Jump to content


Photo

camera movement


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 anroop mri

anroop mri
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:19 AM

Hello everyone,i am an aspiring filmmaker and never got an exact answer for creating a movement(why does a camera move)is there a basic rule for the movement for example if a character moves the camera may travel with him or her,but sometimes when evrything is still the camera dollys to a close up and so on,so can somebody please tell me wht is the basic rule for moving camera?and are there anybooks to explain just movement of the camera?thank you.
  • 0

#2 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:42 AM

Hello everyone,i am an aspiring filmmaker and never got an exact answer for creating a movement(why does a camera move)is there a basic rule for the movement for example if a character moves the camera may travel with him or her,but sometimes when evrything is still the camera dollys to a close up and so on,so can somebody please tell me wht is the basic rule for moving camera?and are there anybooks to explain just movement of the camera?thank you.


There is no real rule for moving the camera. Very often, it follows the characters. Other times, camera movement is motivated by the story or what the characters may be feeling internally, or to pan a landscape, etc. Nowadays, there seems to be an overuse of camera movement. As a filmmaker, you should always ask yourself "why" you are moving the camera. If it's only because you think it looks cool, that's a bad reason.

There are numerous books on cinematography. Check Amazon.
  • 0

#3 anroop mri

anroop mri
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 August 2010 - 01:00 PM

There is no real rule for moving the camera. Very often, it follows the characters. Other times, camera movement is motivated by the story or what the characters may be feeling internally, or to pan a landscape, etc. Nowadays, there seems to be an overuse of camera movement. As a filmmaker, you should always ask yourself "why" you are moving the camera. If it's only because you think it looks cool, that's a bad reason.

There are numerous books on cinematography. Check Amazon.



Thank you very much bill,and can u please tell if there should be a connection in the movement from previous shot to the next shot?
  • 0

#4 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5069 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 August 2010 - 01:24 PM

Thank you very much bill,and can u please tell if there should be a connection in the movement from previous shot to the next shot?


Yes, but you have to work it out depending on the story you're trying to tell. A starting point is not to cut from a shot in which the camera is still moving to a static shot - but there are always exceptions.
  • 0

#5 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 26 August 2010 - 04:10 PM

Thank you very much bill,and can u please tell if there should be a connection in the movement from previous shot to the next shot?


You need to watch a lot of different films from different eras and different countries. The more you watch, the better you will understand what works and what doesn't. Start with the silent era. Since your questions apply to both camera-work and editing, you should watch Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin. Take a look at Ingmar Bergman's stuff and Kubrick's as well.

And just start to pay attention to the camera-work and editing you see in every film you watch.
  • 0

#6 anroop mri

anroop mri
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 27 August 2010 - 03:18 AM

You need to watch a lot of different films from different eras and different countries. The more you watch, the better you will understand what works and what doesn't. Start with the silent era. Since your questions apply to both camera-work and editing, you should watch Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin. Take a look at Ingmar Bergman's stuff and Kubrick's as well.

And just start to pay attention to the camera-work and editing you see in every film you watch.


Thats very kind of you bill and brian ,this info is really helpful.and thank you for the good advice on how i should also see into editing.please keep advicing .
  • 0

#7 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7116 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:33 AM

I spent 4 years in College, literally, every year, watching that same damned steps sequence from Potemptken.... so it's gotta mean something.

Camera motion, as mentioned is very important, and you really need to ask yourself why. Often, I'll figure out the "grammar" of the film with the director first in how it regards camera motion, and try to stick to that.

For another reference whose movement I really enjoyed, look at Amilie.
  • 0

#8 anroop mri

anroop mri
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 28 August 2010 - 02:07 AM

I spent 4 years in College, literally, every year, watching that same damned steps sequence from Potemptken.... so it's gotta mean something.

Camera motion, as mentioned is very important, and you really need to ask yourself why. Often, I'll figure out the "grammar" of the film with the director first in how it regards camera motion, and try to stick to that.

For another reference whose movement I really enjoyed, look at Amilie.



thank you adrian,more advice please.
  • 0

#9 jay singh

jay singh
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Other

Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:58 AM

thank you adrian,more advice please.

I feel, to be a good director( means grammar wise, not content wise) you need to know the Editing first. it helps you learn mistakes. it answers many of your questions.
  • 0

#10 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5069 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 06 September 2010 - 11:29 AM

thank you adrian,more advice please.



You can fimd more in the Jim Nelson handheld v Steadicam thread.
As mentioned, knowledge of editing comes before the camera movement.
  • 0

#11 Vanessa Ward

Vanessa Ward

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • 2nd Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 06 September 2010 - 05:13 PM

As mentioned above, it is most important to start with motivation. There aren't rules, but there are general "cause and effect" relationships to become familiar with. For example, shaky hand held like movement can bring attention to the fact there is an operator. So, if you want the audience to feel this way, then use it for your shot. If you're shooting a football scene, intended to match the feeling of an NFL game, telephoto lenses are commonly used. Because this is how they are covered, therefore watched, by the general public. Having stedi-cam shots right on the field, beside the QB is something not possible in life, so the scene becomes more cinematic, or manufactured. Simple things like that are often discussed in books, if that's how you're looking to study, but it is also an observation thing. Take a look at "Tell Them Who You Are", the doc on Haskell Wexler, ASC. He is very good at defending or explaining the motivation of his camera work. Also, just keep watching films from different genres and eras. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" is brilliant, as is "The Conversation".
  • 0

#12 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 06 September 2010 - 07:22 PM

As mentioned above, it is most important to start with motivation. There aren't rules, but there are general "cause and effect" relationships to become familiar with. For example, shaky hand held like movement can bring attention to the fact there is an operator. So, if you want the audience to feel this way, then use it for your shot. If you're shooting a football scene, intended to match the feeling of an NFL game, telephoto lenses are commonly used. Because this is how they are covered, therefore watched, by the general public. Having stedi-cam shots right on the field, beside the QB is something not possible in life, so the scene becomes more cinematic, or manufactured. Simple things like that are often discussed in books, if that's how you're looking to study, but it is also an observation thing. Take a look at "Tell Them Who You Are", the doc on Haskell Wexler, ASC. He is very good at defending or explaining the motivation of his camera work. Also, just keep watching films from different genres and eras. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" is brilliant, as is "The Conversation".



It also important to learn when NOT to do something: when NOT to move the camera or when not to make an edit. But this all comes with time and experience. Ingmar Bergman was a master at this, as was Stanley Kubrick.

Kubrick films to watch:

2001: A Space Odyssey
The Shining
Paths of Glory



Bergamn films to watch:

Persona
Winter Light
Scenes From A Marriage


A good editing book to check out is The Technique of Film and Video Editing, Fourth Edition: History, Theory, and Practice by Ken Dancyger.
  • 0

#13 Richard Kinkade

Richard Kinkade

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Student

Posted 17 October 2010 - 04:50 PM

As a novice, I don't have much to add from the above comments, which are all very usefull. I'd just like to say that camera movement should be motivated by feeling. Most times the audience doesn't consiously register the fact that the camera is moving (if it's done right). When the movement is used well, the intended emotion for the scene is stronger. If you watch Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory focus on the scene when he is walking through the formation of troops. The camera is pulling back and Kirk is walking toward the camera. The audience can see his face, which shows very little emotion. Kubrick's shot choice, pulling the camera back, creates the emotion of the scene. If you imagine the camera in a stationary position, with Kirk walking toward the camera, all the magic of the moment would be lost. That's the best that I can explain it. It's all about the emotion. When something hits you emotioinally, a moment that just hits you hard, go back and analyze it. See how it's done. Practice.

Also, the movement should not be noticed by the audience (fellow filmmakers excluded, since they would see it anyway.) If you shoot a scene with movement, you should be able to see if the movement is too jarring. If it is, it looks cheesy. That's all there is to it. in my opinion. Examples of this might be found in a Michael Bay film.

Good luck

Rick
  • 0

#14 anroop mri

anroop mri
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 28 October 2010 - 06:20 AM

Thank you rick,and i thank each and everyone who are contributing to this question.
  • 0


Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Opal

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Willys Widgets

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Opal

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Abel Cine

CineLab

Visual Products

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport